tv [untitled] November 12, 2010 7:00am-7:30am PST
i think you have told me in the past, for students with inclusion programs basically mimic the tourist patterns for students without -- the choice patterns for students without iaps. isn't that true? the competition for more students wanting to get into a particular school is going to -- i cannot imagine that we are suddenly going to see a run of 20 students with disabilities filling up an entire kindergarten class at clarendon because there are a lot of other people who want to go to clarendon as well. it seems to me the overall complexity and demand in the system is going to take care of the worry about there being heavy concentrations at various schools. do you see what i am saying? commissioner yee: i would -- if we do not go with what commissioner norton just said,
as part of when susan was reading out what they would research, i would really do that analysis where people are actually applying for this one year, and make some adjustments from there on. >> i would like to respond to a couple of things. i think it is important for you to know that we are going to be meeting with folks from policy and operations to make sure that whenever we come up with the we hold these schools harmless in terms of budget. with enrollment projections, if we project a certain number of kids, it should -- we need to look at these issues closely, but that is the plan. we would not want to -- i do not think we would succeed if schools' budgets are going to be impacted negatively. commissioner wynns: i need to
follow up on that. can you explain to me how we are going to do that? if we are holding in the slots throughout the year, we are going to give the schools money? how are we going to afford that? >> it is not dissimilar from the approach we take with newcomers students. i think there are some differences, but it is kind of analogous. we know that in the course of a year, newcomers students will attend -- will come into our system and will go to the everett and cisco and our newcomer pathways. we know they do not start the year at those schools, but we make an estimate of how many students will be at each of those schools by the end of the year. we establish the budget from the very beginning, even the prior spring, with that expectation in mind. i think what is different in
this case is that we would not really know from school to school what the actual enrollment would be, and we would have an expectation that systemwide it probably would be less than what we expect, i mean than the base of the projection. but for a given school, we would be similar to what we do with the newcomer population. commissioner wynns: i need to ask a question about that. first of all, we do not get kids with iaps of coming into the system who are not in the system already. they are kids who go to our schools who throughout the year get iaps and get in line to get different kinds of services and what they have had before. i am a little concerned if we are going to do it like we do with newcomers, because that is just kind of dumb, because we already have almost all these kids with us. it is going to -- people who are
managing the schools, the principleals, the people figurig out how many kids to put in each class and how to use their resources -- we need to at the very least consult with them before we do this. and i am very -- i was glad that you said that, because i am concerned that if we just tell schools we are going to leave spots and the and you are not going to get any money for those spots, that is a problem. but on the other hand it is more complex than saying let us treat them like newcomers. i mean, yes. we get a few kids who come in with iaps who are not our students at the beginning of the year, but that is not the purpose of saving spots. that is the purpose of setting up until school starts, not the purpose of saving them throughout the year, as i understand it. >> if i can just stress that we have a group that is meeting every week to try to ask these kinds of questions you are
bringing up and try to figure this out. they just started meeting. they have met twice. so we are really early in having these answers. it is clear what is important. it is clear that it is important that we do this the best we can without impacting the budget. it is also really important for you to know that this is an opportunity for us to think differently about how kids do enroll. i would love to have the group consider what commissioner norton was describing. all we want to propose to schools is something that they can buy into. that is why we are talking about just those transitional grades. some schools are more ready than others to think bigger about this, and they will. and we have time between now and the end of the school year for those schools to be ready to think bigger. one of the things that is important to me is that we stop
thinking about, like in the kindergarten example, one in each class. that is not good use of --, there would be something like clustering to consider, where you can do some co-teaching. there are many opportunities to put more inclusive practices in place by beginning this process. it is professional development that will need to happen before the opening of the school in the hall -- in the fall. this will be a rich opportunity to lead the groundwork for the following year, where we will add second grade, 10th grade. these are important questions. the of not figured it out yet. we had to get started so we could get ready for the enrollment there. commissioner wynns: if i can summarize, and not to interrupt, you are proposing that, or may be asking for input, to use as a workable model the idea of setting aside -- that we are going to set aside seats, which
it seems to me we have consensus from the board members here present around. i think we also, having discussed that before, where pretty clear that we have support for setting aside seats. at least as a working hypothesis, we will begin by saying there will be at least one seat at the beginning of the enrollment process for each class in those transition grades, in each school. we are proposing to use at the present time, setting aside commissioner norton's idea for a moment, we are thinking of that as a separate pool for the schools. kids with iaps using the same tiebreakers we use for kids without iaps. is that correct? is that you plan to tell people on saturday? [laughter] >> for saturday -- [laughter]
we are trying to prepare some basic talking points for principals so they can be welcoming when families come to their tables. in terms of the -- we are going to stay really basic, probably more basic than even our discussion tonight. we will have to stay basic because we do not have any answers yet. commissioner wynns: what can be more basic than that? we are setting aside seats. we are going to have a target number for that. at the current time, we are talking about having all the kids with iaps to apply with a separate pool for the school, using the same tiebreakers we use for kid without iaps. commissioner norton: i think the important information for families will be that they do not have to worry about -- that they can look at every school and i do not have to worry about what is exactly on their iap, if
they don't have the right thing written by february 18. the council considered inclusion for the following year, which is a big change and an important change. commissioner wynns: that means we are setting aside seats. that is what that means. we will not be telling people -- but we are at the starting point. commissioner norton: i know we want to start somewhere and we do not want the perfect to be the enemy of the good, to paraphrase president obama -- the latest one who said it, as far as i know -- it still seems like we are in this place where we are treating students differently and we are thinking of them in terms of being harder to serve or that we need more capacity to serve, or that they are -- they are special, but that -- i just would love to see them -- i just do not quite
understand. i mean, we do not limit ourselves so tightly when we are talking about students enrolled in the resource program, for example. we have a certain number of kids who can be a caseload for a staff person, but we do not say we cannot take more than x number of kids at this particular school. i really would like to see us get to a place where we are not thinking of kids in terms of, "ok, we can only take this money, and you have to go over there because we cannot take you any more." >> commissioner norton, if i can respond, i agree with you. i have been able to address some principals last week, some elementary school principals, and this morning some middle school principals. discussion we are having is about changing our thinking and changing our language. we have a paradigm shift to make.
that is -- the goal is to do exactly what you described. at the same time, we want to make sure we are able to implement children's iaps and make sure they have the services they need to make progress. so we cannot minimize, at the same time. we have to make schools ready to serve the children in a welcoming and successful way. commissioner wynns: ok. is there any member of the public that would like to testify on this item? [laughter] >> this is not a two minute limit, is it? commissioner wynns: press the microphone button and identify yourself. >> katie franklin, chair of the community advisory program for special education. this is progress, just to see a document that says students with inclusion can enter and apply at any school. i want to cry.
but then i sober up when i listen to you guys talking about it. there is a bunch of things. attendance area schools. you know where these children live. you have their addresses. you know which schools are their attendance area schools. the system you use with siblings and -- perhaps inclusion could be another factor in making that work. i would like to meet with you to talk about some ideas i have about that. i do not know. i have been asking for inclusion at every school for seven years now. a lot of people i know have been doing it for 30 years. the law passed 35 years ago. 18 years after that, we got inclusion at west portal elementary school, at one school. a year later, 10 more schools had it. by 2004, 50 schools had it.
now with these transition grades, all schools will theoretically have it. that is great. but the teachers are going to need the support. and i think the first thing the district has to do is a clear definition of what inclusion is, what inclusive services are, and a written policy very clear so there is no room for bickering about it are disagreements, or all the problems that could happen. because even now, at schools which have had inclusion for years, you still have disagreements among the staff. "i do not want them going on the field trip. i do not want them to be my responsibility." you know, like cooking a field trip that is not accessible to a kid in a wheelchair in the class. things like that still come up. the leadership of the district really needs to spell out what it means.
just a bit more? use teachers who have had lots of experience with this as mentors for other teachers who have not. with inclusion, a lot of the things teachers do is they think it is about treating everybody the same way, but it is not the same. it is respecting differences when students are not the same. to me, equity means recognizing and realizing that you cannot have equal treatment in unequal situations. but this is progress, and i think everybody. commissioner wynns: thank you. >> lewis teekiel, parliamentarin of the cac on special education. as i have watched you guys go around this topic, it clearly
states what is to be done by the iap team. that team is supposed troops -- supposed to survive. in the audit it says placement equals the school site location where the child is placed. it seems to me you guys have made some -- could have made things so much easier if you did the placement in the iap process, and have fuan iap meeting before you go to the inclusion process for the rest of the kids. you know exactly who is where. you do not have to worry about holding seats back. everybody who has an iap gets what they are supposed to be getting under the law. i agree with katie that it is very wonderful to have something being done instead of another year where we are talking about "that is really great but we
will be looking at that next year." so thank you for actually getting things done. >> my name is shirley forest. i am also a cac member. my doctor started in inclusion at west portal 15 years ago -- my daughter started in inclusion at west portal 15 years ago. it was a wonderful experience for her. the biggest thing is the principal there was very supportive of inclusion, and i think that speaks to what has to really happen in a school district. that is the desire to make sure that it occurs and people understand that it is going to occur has to come from the top. i think the principal at the time was very committed to what was going to happen, that inclusion was coming to their school and it was going to be a positive experience.
that was really clear to all the teachers. i think you are making a commitment which i think it's fantastic, that every school is going to have inclusion. but i feel that all of the principleals really need to hear this clearly from the superintendent. it is great, ms. dodge, that they are hearing it from you, but it has to be very clear that this is what the superintendent wants. i do not know if that is happening. i think that it is very crucial that these principleals are getting a lot of stuff development or information right now about what that is going to be, to help teachers be more accepting of it. there has to be, as katie said, lots and lots of staff development for the teachers to make this successful. thank you. commissioner wynns: i just want to remind everybody that you are talking about the student
assignment process. that is the only subject of corporate to this committee. we are totally committed to the development and changes in the special education program, but that is not the subject we are discussing this evening. we are talking about the student assignment process. so thank you. >> can i just say one other thing? commissioner wynns: if it is about the student assignment process. >> you were talking about having it occur next year in middle school, starting in middle schools and high schools. i hope if you are doing that that you are really preparing administrators and administrative designees at iaps to help them think about more students that would go in for middle school and high school, going through inclusion. commissioner wynns: thank you. >> i have a question. i have a comment about student assignment, but it is about the middle school assignment process.
i wanted to know what should i say this now or are you going to wrap up the special ed? it is about the middle school assignment. commissioner wynns: ok. >> did you have a little bit of an update your going to make? commissioner wynns: it is not on the agenda. >> it is not on your agenda. that is why we wanted to make a report. we are working on it. commissioner wynns: it is going to be on our agenda. it will be on the agenda in the coming months. >> we are talking about other stuff tomorrow. if you want to lengthen our report tomorrow, we are happy to do that. i do not mind. i have a written thing which you can have. i will save this for tomorrow. commissioner wynns: we have that already. i will read to that and make sure commissioner mendoza has a copy of that as well. commissioner yee: if we already
have some dedicated schools that are welcoming inclusion, this is -- let us just take west portal. they are not limiting their kindergarten class. that are just having one kindergarten enrollment. commissioner wynns: we are using that. commissioner yee: that is what i wanted to know. to me, that is not dedicated. commissioner norton: i have been reminded. what about the child development programs? we have not really talk about that. i know that is a separate assignment system, but what are we doing there? >> commissioner norton, we wanted to get this moving first, but then we are already having
conversations about how to create a more inclusive÷inclusik students with disabilities. so we can improve the least restrictive environment also. >> i thought we were talking about preschool age. we are supposed to be taking at least &. they get priority in the child development program for a moment. i am not sure what we're talking about. >> we have them in self- contained classrooms for the most part. >> this is not on the agenda, so we will not discuss this out. i don't know how we plan to do this, so i would like to ask the staff to give us -- let's not
discuss it in the student assignment committee, that would be ok with me. i want to know some time where we will talk about the way that it is assigned to the child development sector. since we have the priority, we have to know how people are going to get assigned. if you could discuss it among the staff members and decided where we want to put it, we will get it on the agenda. we will make a reference to it so people know where to go to discuss it. >> the suggestion i just made is that we consider how he committee as a whole, giving them a little bit of time to get up to speed.
>> that is exactly what we will discuss when we have that appropriately on the agenda. i understand. that is why we have to discuss it and get the information here. but we cannot discuss it tonight. do we have a meeting schedule? we will have to get together. we will talk and schedule the next meeting. i will need staff recommendation about whether we need a meeting in december. i think we probably do. just for the record, we didn't take any action on the transportation policy which we need to do. we think we can because the agenda does not specify an action and informational items. since it is listed as a resolution, can make a recommendation?
>> is not listed as an informational item, so yes. >> we will forward the substitute policy motion to the board. i will need to consult with staff about whether we're going to meet in a december meeting. we could try to talk about that tomorrow. tomorrow is the only board meeting in november. we might want to announce at a board meeting tomorrow whether or not we're going to have a meeting in december. thank you for coming tonight. i really appreciate the interest and commitment of the public on the subject. this is what it takes to do this kind of work. we really appreciate everybody remaining engaged and i want to thank the staff for all the hard work tonight and throughout the year. the meeting is adjourned.
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